If you’re planning on moving from a house to an apartment, you’ll probably find yourself wondering: what will I do with the extra stuff? What does decluttering actually mean? And who on Earth is Marie Kondo?! To keep your head from spinning, continue reading, and find out the simple answers to these questions.
Is It Better to Live in an Apartment or a House?
Moving from a house to an apartment certainly has its advantages. One of the main reasons why people choose to downsize is easy maintenance. When you’re a homeowner, you have the sole responsibility of dealing with the upkeep. From yard work to fixing a broken roof, you either have to take care of it personally or hire someone else to do it for a hefty price tag. Once you start living in a building, the staff handles all repairs. If you have a leaky ceiling or a broken dishwasher, all you have to do is call the property maintenance, and they’ll manage the rest. You won’t have to shovel snow or spend any more money on hardware stores ever again.
The other benefit of living in an apartment is increased safety. If you are moving to another state alone, you will take comfort knowing that many apartment complexes have security cameras and controlled access to buildings. Also, you will be a lot closer to your neighbors, who will be able to contact the authorities if they notice something strange or unsettling.
Downsize to Save Money
Living in a house demands a lot of resources. Besides paying off a mortgage, there’s also property tax, Homeowners Association (or HOA) fees, and high utility bills. Add monthly maintenance costs to that list, and you got yourself a financial nightmare. The bright side of downsizing is that your expenses will get slashed too. Renter’s insurance and utilities are a fraction of what you are accustomed to, and the HOA fees are significantly lower, in case you plan on buying. All in all, living in a smaller home will save you a lot of money and enable you to invest in your family’s future.
Start Planning on Time
Downsizing from a house to an apartment is not a last-minute moving type of thing. It requires a lot of preparation and organizational skills. You have to start planning on time if you want everything to go smoothly, and that includes doing research.
Research the Neighborhoods
When it comes to choosing the location of your new home, you will definitely have more options. Now that you’re set on living in a building, you will be closer to cities and urban centers and therefore enjoy a wider range of amenities. Things like playgrounds, fitness centers, and swimming pools will be just a short walk away. There’s also a more pronounced sense of community in an apartment complex, so it’s a good idea to get to know the other tenants as soon as you move. A great way to leave a good first impression and meet new neighbors is to throw a huge housewarming party or a barbecue and invite the whole building. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be part of each other’s lives for a long time, so choose your neighborhood wisely.
Measure Everything Before You Downsize
Your measuring tape is your new best friend. People who downsize from a big house often have trouble with spatial perception. Even if the square footage is included in the listing, as it usually is, you should always take measurements yourself and see how you feel in the actual physical space. Try and visualize where the furnishings and appliances would go, and then measure the dimensions of every piece of furniture individually, to see if they will fit.
Learn to Declutter
But wait, how do I move my house to a small apartment? What is the actual process? The answer is simple – learn to declutter. Before you downsize, it’s best to make a thorough household inventory list and separate the items you intend to take with you from the items you plan on donating. Getting rid of the bric-a-brac that’s piled up over the years is the best way to downsize. Also, reports state that a decluttered house has a 3-5 % increase in market value.
Still, the thought of parting with your belongings might seem too harsh for some people. Psychologists say our material possessions represent an extension of our identity since we’ve carefully picked them out to be part of our imminent surroundings. Letting go is hard to do, but it can also be very freeing if you do it right the right way.
Let Go of Everything You Don’t Need
You’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo by now or have at least seen the memes. Marie is the author of The Life-Changing Method of Tidying Up and the originator of the so-called KonMari method of decluttering. The idea is to get rid of the things you don’t need and the things you think you need but are just clutter. That’s where the meme comes in: the way to decide is to look at a specific item and ask yourself, does this spark joy? It may sound silly, but it’s a guaranteed method of getting rid of unnecessary things and ending up with a realistic list of moving essentials. If you’re interested to learn more about the KonMari way, check out this video!
Get Used to Having Less Space in Your Home
When moving to a smaller home, having less space to keep your belongings is a major issue. Even after you declutter, you’re probably going to end up needing more storage room.
Look for Additional Storage Solutions
Nowadays, every piece of furniture has a twofold purpose: a sofa can become a bed, a table can turn into a walk-in closet, and so forth. Arm yourself with shelves, hooks, racks, and pray you’ll eventually have enough space. You can also consider renting a storage unit in case decluttering didn’t go as planned.
Consider Enlisting Professional Help when Moving from a House to an Apartment
After spending so much time decluttering, you’re probably sick of the whole downsizing thing already. Perhaps you should think about hiring a long-distance moving company to provide you with packing and other moving services. Why not make sure your hand-picked personal items are relocated to your new home safely and efficiently?